0

Breastfeeding Moms, It’s Time To Ditch Dairy

26758640_2465642246994301_8838552547342593061_o

In the process of birthing her child, opening up to allow life to pass through her and howling or whimpering along with thousands of other human mothers and multitudes more female creatures, a woman feels a primal connection to her animal nature. Herein is sparked an unspoken understanding of The Mother Code: all mothers worldwide, of all ages and races and species, learn this unspoken language in their gut and communicate it with their hearts.

This Code is founded upon an equal, shared love for our babies, a desire for the best for our babies — and what’s best for our babies is, by protective feature of Mother Nature, likewise best for us. The Code recognizes another mother’s profundity of pain when her child is hurt or lost, and it celebrates her joy when motherhood is thriving. It sees the essential closeness of mother and baby as gold; the syncing of their bodies and spirits as fact.

As a breastfeeding mother, you know the depth of emotions that make breastfeeding possible. You know the struggle when it doesn’t work, and when it gets painful and exhausting and when we face external obstacles. You know the anxiety when questioning whether your body ‘works,’ whether biology has failed you or if you’re ‘woman enough’ to handle the pressure of this responsibility. You know the Breastfeeding Mother Code.

Lactation works the same in all mammals. Emotions and hormones are the fuel for the mechanics of lactogenesis, a natural triumph of a nurturing, healing system that has secured mammalian survival since, well, the evolution (or divine creation) of mammaries.

So keep this Code in mind, because now it’s time to talk about dairy cows.

Continue reading

1

22 Beautiful Images of Black Mothers Breastfeeding Their Babies

bhm-copy

Breastfeeding is normal, natural, wholesome, and beautiful. In honor of Black History Month, here are 22 stunning images of breastfeeding mothers and babies of color that prove it.

Continue reading

0

A Year of Celebrating The Breast

eimg_9962-copyeimg_0062-copy

You may have noticed a new tab on this page!

Celebration of the Breast is a set of calendars (two versions – Vital and Taboo) that my doula, Nicole Deelah of Sage Beginnings Doula Services, proposed as a project earlier this month. We immediately had the perfect photographer in mind: the open-minded, open-hearted Blue Fitzcarraldo of Blue Fitz Photography.

The primary goal was to raise some funds for Intact Houston, the local not-for-profit chapter of The INTACT Network/Saving Our Sons that I co-direct. Promoting body positivity, releasing stigmas, and fostering acceptance and education about female breasts was just icing on the cake.

Because these are calendars, after all, the clock was running against us. We set up a shoot for later that same week and held an open call for any and all women who wished to participate in either (or both) versions of the calendar. Many were happy to be featured in both, while others chose to volunteer for one or the other.

Vital demonstrates the monthly themes in a more subtle way (no areolas are shown), while Taboo is more provocative (no censorship here). The photography is tastefully artistic.

Of course, the first month of the year is nearly behind us, so it’s prime time to tack a 2017 calendar to the wall if we haven’t already. What I love perhaps most about this set is the photos are gorgeous — they could be displayed individually or as a collage, even without the calendar pages. For aesthetics or function, it’s really up to you!

**If you’d like to see the calendar images, you can get a copy of Vital, Taboo, or both calendars here.**

They’re also available on Etsy. Shipping is included for domestic orders (email me for international orders). Keep in mind, we’re offering a $10 savings when both versions are purchased.

Below I’ve detailed some of concepts/themes that inspired Celebration of the Breast.

Continue reading

0

Thoughts On My Two Postpartums (and Maybe Yours, Too)

13502028_2774656656107_2025445876189040493_n

My sons, myself, and my midwife at our final postpartum visit.

I had my final postpartum visit last week. My last postpartum visit EVER. Bittersweet, yes. I feel a mixture of grief and motivation. Part of me wants to apologize (to whom, I do not know) for being melodramatic. The rest of me knows no apology is needed — postpartum time deserves far more attention and care than it typically receives.

Continue reading

0

Is ‘Gilmore Girls’ a Breastfeeding Foe or Friend?

t-gilmore-girls-revival-ss

Via vanityfair.com

Well, this is a bummer. One of my favorite television shows may not be breastfeeding-friendly, and some of my favorite characters even voiced the lines that heavily suggest it to be so.

Stuck in bed and on various soft surfaces last week thanks to a bout of mastitis, naturally I took to a Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix. All was well until one of main character Lorelai’s short-lived suitors mentioned how “We’re all nourished by our mothers” and she quickly shut it down with a retort that went something like “Don’t gross me out.”

So, me sitting there, breastfeeding advocate and all… awwwkwaaard. Now now, perhaps just more of the same witty banter that’s characteristic of the show’s underlining sarcasm. I thought Gilmore Girls had always been fun without going too far and getting mean-spirited…

But then I saw the opening segment of another episode, Season 3’s “Eight O’Clock at the Oasis.”

Continue reading

5

Touching, Printing, and Eating My Placenta

13221077_2046828475542349_129352156386841714_nedt

*BEFORE YOU READ: This is a post about human placentas. It includes photos. If you’re not accustomed to seeing a real placenta or don’t wish to see one, you might consider skipping this post.*

*All uncaptioned photos below are credited to Stephanie Shirley Photography*

Continue reading

1

Let’s Stop Defending Ourselves With “Nothing Was Even Showing!”

10333403_2316164714095_9099785265376309139_o

I hear it all the time — women defending themselves for breastfeeding in public. Adamant that they deserve to feed their babies whenever and wherever needed, they say: “It’s not like you could see anything! Nothing was even showing!”

Great, but if you could see ‘something’… or if it had been ‘showing’… so what? Is it truly a valid defense for nursing a child in non-private situations?

Continue reading